Salesforce is a much-celebrated name in the business circle lately, which is a constantly evolving platform and always stays up to user expectations. Salesforce DX is out there to enrich the developer experience and change ways as to how business applications are built. Ranging from freelance or independent developers to the big corporate development teams alike, Salesforce DX offers a much sophisticated and integrated application development lifecycle by ensuring a high-performance agile developmental model. The most notable factor is that you can use DX in combination with any other development tool which you are already using.
Use of Salesforce DX
If you are planning to start with a new development project, then one has more flexibility in terms of using Salesforce DX for it. However, if there are already existing Salesforce orgs on your project, then it is advisable to first convert those into the DX project and work on it further. There are some quick commands on the Salesforce CLI to do it effectively. Here is the standard CLI command to keep a note of – for the creation of a new project.
In fact, if there are dependencies existing, then we need to have a fresh start. Steps as below.
- First, you should generate the package.xml using Eclipse or could take the support of the Workbench to download metadata packages as a whole.
- Next, use the above command to create a fresh DX project from the given (converted) content.
- Enable the special features needed with the help of definition or scratch org files for the enabled features.
- It is also advisable that you create a new scratch org by seeing the output of the above steps. There are both automation and manual steps to be followed on Salesforce DX to create a new scratch org.
- With this, you may have to enable the features manually as these cannot be put on the scratch or definition files.
- Next, Install all dependent packages and also configure those with the above command.
- Finally, you can pull out the DX project using the command:
On creating a fresh scratch org and project conversion is done, then you can initiate a trial and error approach by pushing down the org, checking for compilations, checking any deployment issues, and fixing that one by one. It may be something like forgetting to turn on any features or missing a mandatory package, etc., which you could fix instantly. It is also essential to check and identify whether conversion provides you with compromised metadata, which isn’t possible to deploy or if you miss any part of it.
All such issues needed to be worked out closely and cleared until you eradicate the errors to get it deployed fully. However, this may take quite some time and effort, for which it is ideal for taking support from Flosum.com or other consulting.
Once if you have set up the fresh scratch org, then you can next go on to source control set up. You can ideally use GitHub Enterprise; however, any random source control mechanical could work well. All these steps require intensive effort and clear focus to accomplish. Once done, you can next move to face and resolving the agility challenges using Salesforce DX.
Salesforce DX features to note
As we had seen above in the case of the Salesforce DX developmental approach, DX acts as an end-to-end platform to ensure high-performance agile application development. Salesforce was also highly flexible and open for the users to develop on it by using any standard practices which they are using to or by using any tools which they are experts on. Let’s further discuss a few other unique advantage of Salesforce DX, which will make it the favourite of corporate development teams.
- Source-driven approach to development
- Ability to build together by shifting the sources from org to new Version Control System.
- The collaboration of technology like Git as well as many third-party tools.
- Salesforce CLI to speed up the entire developmental process across various platforms through CLI.
- Easy and instant integration by building on open API.
- Scratch Orgs to emulate the Salesforce org for its features and functionalities. It’s an easily configurable, source-driven approach to an instantly disposable development and testing environment.
Altogether, Salesforce DX ensures a fresh developer experience from individuals to big development teams using a wide variety of tools like Git, Selenium, VS Code Eclipse, or any. It is an instant one-click integration of any tools and IDEs to Salesforce DX with the use of open APIs.
Look at any Salesforce DX reviews, and you will see a positive mention about the top feature of DX as the ‘Second-Generation Packages.’ In fact, there are different packages includes in it as managed packages, unlocked packages, locked packages, etc.
As per the old model, there was only a single org to create managed packages, whereas the org was acting as a primary host. However, with the second-generation packages in the featured Dev Hub, the app developers and teams can now create multiple package types as they wish and also test them in the Scratch Org. All these packages could be custom-built using the metadata assets, whereas the codes will be stored in the local machine. The application will also be tested and verified against various Salesforce orgs.
Developers can also create unlocked or locked packages. We can see that unlocked packages are more or less like the unmanaged packages of the olden times. However, unlocked and locked packages with similar namespace could be upgraded now as managed packages to be edited easily like an unmanaged package. In real-time development experience, this could bring the best of both worlds to the hands of the individual and team developers. However, compared to independent developers, the lock package seems to be more attractive to enterprise development teams, which may want to avoid any post-installation tinkering.
In fact, the second-generation DX packages are further to get advanced by opening up many new avenues in enterprise application development and also to make the deployment of those easier. Using Salesforce DX, large-scale developmental teams handling various big projects simultaneously will also be able to leverage from the second-gen packages. Among many unique benefits, it will ensure quicker development, easy deployment, clarity in change tracking, and will help to do customizations in a timely and organized way. For this, the developers and administrators need not have to wade through tons of structured or unstructured data to see what is cooking in the Salesforce org.